My family history is fraught with autoimmune illness which propelled me to investigate the potential causes. I explain my history and motivation to help change the course of my family's future in this recent video blog post. Research into my family's illnesses lead me on the ever evolving career path I write about in this blog and soon to be published book. My interest in helping patients with chronic conditions is genuine. Sometimes, however, working with chronic condition patients can be frustrating. Let me give you an example.
While I was working with a patient on Friday, I asked her how she was doing with her diet. This formerly incapacitated fibromyalgia sufferer said she cheated once in a while and ate some gluten containing food. She then went on to say, that many of her fibromyalgia symptoms returned after cheating. Why would you do that, I asked? To which I received the typcial reply from gluten cheaters, that a little wouldn't hurt...would it?
The answer is a resounding YES! When you have a gluten intolerance, with a genetic predisposition to immune intolerance, like I do, you must have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy if you want to preserve your health!
To date, ALL of the chronic condition patients I have examined at my office have gluten intolerance. Gluten intolerance due to genetic predisposition can't be remedied. Why? Because having one of the main genes that predisposes to gluten sensitivity and/or celiac sprue, is permanent. It's the same as having a gene for blue or brown eyes...you can't change the gene.
Commonly seen on the Enterolab Gluten Sensitivity Gene Test (Molecular HLA-DQB1 analysis) report is the following information: "Having one celiac gene and one gluten sensitive gene, means that each of your parents, and all of your children (if you have them) will possess at least one copy of a gluten sensitive gene. Having two copies also means there is an even stronger predisposition to gluten sensitivity than having one gene and the resultant immunologic gluten sensitivity or celiac disease may be more severe."
I explained this permanency concept to my patient and why the importance of gluten abstinence was analagous to the reason why a recovering alcoholic should NEVER take a sip of alcohol. In fact, gluten cheating can be more damaging than you realize!
Research shows that even a small exposure to gluten containing foods can have a profound and lasting impact on the immune system response of your body. Provoking the immune system by cheating with gluten triggers your immune system to launch an attack on various parts of your body, also known as an autoimmune illness.
In a case review entitled, A Milligram of Gluten a Day Keeps the Mucosal Recovery
Away: A Case Report, the authors wrote about a 32 year old nun with celiac disease who refused to use a gluten-free communion wafer in her daily religious rites. The small dose of gluten contained in a traditional Catholic communion wafer was enough to keep this 32 year old's intestines from full recovery based on follow-up intestinal biopsy. In part, the authors state, "The case we presented suggests that the daily intake of 0.5 mg of gliadin for a 2-year period did not allow mucosal recovery." They further stated that "mucosal recovery is the main protection against the occurrence of intestinal lymphoma."
Several good articles have been published by Natural News about the dangerous effects the consumption of gluten has on gluten intolerant individuals including:
Researchers have shown many diseases are triggered by gluten intake.
Many symptoms or signs should alert your doctor to test for gluten intolerance, including the following:
- Chronic diarrhea with and without malabsorption
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Unexplained weight loss
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Folate deficiency
- Vitamin E or K deficiency
- Hypocalcemia or vitamin D deficiency, secondary
- Unexplained elevation of transaminases (liver enzymes)
- First-degree relatives of patients with Celiac disease
- Associated auto-immune diseases: Type I diabetes, Sjogren’s
syndrome, and primary biliary cirrhosis
- Down’s and Turner’s syndromes
- Neurological disorders: unexplained peripheral neuropathy,
epilepsy, and ataxia
Furthermore, proper MODERN testing needs to be carried out to determine if you are gluten intolerant. To learn more about accurate testing, just click on the big orange button below:
I told my fibromyalgia patient that her comments about gluten cheating gave me great material for my blog post this week. Hopefully you will find this information helpful and I hope it will encourage you to "stick to your life and health promoting diet".
I can tell you that life without gluten is great. To add a twist to the story...once your immune system is alerted to view gluten as an enemy, it may also consider other foods without gluten to be an adversary too. For more information on this cross reaction concept, read this article.